The Dairy Research Institute is one of the Institutes under the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) established under the KALRO Act of 2013. It provides technical support to the dairy sector. The Institute has a national mandate focusing on dairy related research. The goal is to develop appropriate sustainable innovations and cost effective technologies that will enhance productivity, thereby improving quality of life, equity and wealth.
The current dairy research institute's facility was established in 1903 then known as Agricultural Experimental Station. Initial interventions were in adaptation studies for exotic breeds, pasture and fodder studies, disease control, nutrition challenges and genetic improvement through artificial insemination. The Institute hosts the coordinating Centre of Regional Dairy Centre of Excellence (RDCoE) under the auspices of the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Project. Kenya was identified as the appropriate host for the RDCoE due to its comparative advantage in the dairy industry in the region.
Kenya,s dairy industry is constrained by inadequate feed resources, prevalence of diseases (especially tick borne), unavailability of quality replacement stock, low adoption of technologies, high cost of farm inputs (including fodder/pasture seeds), inefficient breeding services and low value addition.